Scripture: Galatians 1: 1-17
Key verse: (10) “Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Reflection: The Apostle Paul found out that there were some in the Galatian community who were preaching that the Old Testament practices were still binding. He was surprised they were so quickly deserting the gospel he preached for this different gospel. Some preachers insisted that Gentiles who became Christians first had to become Jews. Paul reminded the church that they were justified by grace; not by religious legal requirements. Legalism in the church was an issue. Even today it still can be. It is tempting to make a lot of requirements in order for someone to join the church when the only requirement is to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Even then, we don’t exclude anyone who wants to worship with us or serve in our ministries before they make such a profession. It is by grace through faith alone that we are saved. God knows our hearts and there is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It is a free gift. Apparently, Paul received push-back from some in the church, but he wasn’t going to back down on something so important. If they were angry with him, so be it. He was not seeking their approval, but the approval of God. He was adamant about grace and wasn’t going to put any barrier up to keep people from Jesus. We live in a world where we are taught we have to earn everything we receive. It feels more comfortable to earn our own way. But, this isn’t the gospel. Before we loved God; God loved us. This gift of grace is freely given. Praise God!
Prayer: God of grace, we give thanks for the Apostle Paul who had such a great love for you. He is an example to us of faithfulness to the gospel. May we continue to grow in faith, trusting in your great mercy, as we live out the grace of Christ in our everyday lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].